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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to Security+
 9  Chapter 4:  Basics of Cryptography (Domain 4.0; 15%)
      9  4.5  Key Management and Certificate Lifecycles

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4.5.5.1  Status Checking
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4.5.6.1  Status Checking
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4.5.6 Suspension

Suspension of a certificate places a temporary hold on the validity of a digital certificate without causing irreversible revocation. If it later turns out that the certificate should still be considered valid after all, the suspension can be removed, and the certificate will once again be valid. Suspension can be accomplished by placing a digital certificate into a CRL with a suspended status and a reason code for that suspension.

Why suspend a certificate rather than permanently revoke it? You may want to temporarily suspend a certificate’s validity because the subscriber has not paid their annual service fee, or the subscriber invokes behavior that leads to certificate investigation.

Suspension vs. Revocation

You would suspend a certificate, rather than revoke it, if there is a temporary problem (such as a delinquent account) or if there might have been a compromise of the key, but it’s still being investigated. Suspension does not permanently invalidate the key, whereas revocation does.


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